The best singles of 2000
The disquieting Marshall Mathers LP has its share of hooks and dazzling verbiage, but this single brings them all together in one extraordinary flash. Although this detailed story-song about the dark side of fandom could have easily been a novelty, Eminem’s increasingly deranged delivery and the beguiling Dido sample (which recontextualizes an ordinary love song into something far more ominous) becomes a chilling comment on fame, fan worship, and responsibility, or lack thereof. And it sounds great on the radio.
Those hydrogen-bomb bass lines! Those constantly mutating electronic squiggles and squirms from producer Mirwais! The singer gets into the spirit, too.
3. ”Got It All”
Eve and Jadakiss
From the Ruff Ryders posse, a hip-hop single with it all: a fierce back-and-forth male-female duel, a beat that sulks and sways at the same time, and, best of all, Caribbean steel drums.
4. ”Ms. Jackson”
A wayward father’s argument for why he’s not around, addressed to the child’s grandmother, is just one indication of these Southern hip-hoppers’ scope. The music, the most bubbling piece of pop-funk since the heyday of Prince, is another.
5. ”Tell Me Why (The Puzzle)”
Paul Van Dyk
The techno offshoot dubbed trance gave birth to many gems this year, and German DJ Van Dyk’s emotive ”Vocal Mix” collaboration with Saint Etienne is the most transfixing.
6. ”Back Here”
Their American peers wish they could have released a single as sharp and freshly scrubbed as this undeniable nugget from these three young Brits. Boy-band single of the year.
7. ”Beautiful Day”
Remember when rock singles weren’t glum, burdened, formulaic, or foaming over with unspecified rage? U2 are old enough to remember those days, and yes, they can still be beautiful things.
8. ”Heaven Scent”
Bedrock A late-’99 release resurrected on the Groove soundtrack, DJ John Digweed’s trumpeting trance masterpiece more than lives up to its title.
9. ”I Remember”
Whaling away at his latest victim, old-school folk-blues rapper Everlast, the year’s biggest cultural target tosses off the most delicious hip-hop dis since the days of the great LL Cool J-Kool Moe Dee feuds. A 12-inch worth hunting down.
10. ”Never Gonna Come Back Down”
Ex-Soul Coughing leader M. Doughty’s caffeinated beat poetry meets electronica whiz kid Brian Transeau’s equally jittery pulsations. You’ll never want to come back down.